In 1915 the Danish psychologist Edgar Rubin devised an image called 'The Ambiguous Vase.' You could either see it as a vase, or as two faces looking towards each other. The image is ambiguous and demonstrates our ability to shift between different interpretations of what we are seeing. Psychologists call it a 'figure-ground' illusion, and it seems that the brain tries to work out which part of the image is the 'figure' i.e. the object, and which part of the image is the 'ground', i.e. the background. The brain can only see one of the two options as the 'figure' at any point in time, although you can make your brain flip from seeing the two faces, to seeing the vase.
This version has been made in plastic, using the process of injection moulding, in order to create a version of this amazing illusion at an equally amazing price.
The vase is constructed of two half vases, one black and one white. Each half will hold water. Of course you could stand the two halves against a mirror, which would give you two vases!
If you want to read more about the science behind this illusion, here
is a web site that will tell you all you want to know.
The vase is 18 cm high, and weighs about 400g. It comes in a smart presentation box.
This item is brand new (as of December 2012) and unusually for an object like this, it has been made in the EU, and not in China!
Made in the EU